Florida adds 13,000 coronavirus cases for second day in a row

The state added 96 deaths, raising the death total to 20,690 people
The Tampa Bay region added 2,585 cases and 23 deaths Friday.
The Tampa Bay region added 2,585 cases and 23 deaths Friday. [ Times ]
Published Dec. 18, 2020|Updated Dec. 18, 2020

Florida added 13,000 coronavirus cases and 96 deaths Friday, bringing the death total to 20,690.

The state has recorded more than 1.1 million cases since March, according to the Florida Department of Health. It has reported about 10,727 cases and 102 deaths per day on average this week. It can take officials up to two weeks to confirm and report a COVID-19 death, meaning the number of deaths added does not necessarily reflect the number of people who died the previous day.

Across the state, Florida has seen increasing infections and deaths. Testing has increased statewide since the summer, when cases last peaked. The Tropicana Field testing site in St. Petersburg closed early Friday due to high demand and long wait times ahead of the holidays.

The state received test results for 169,137 residents Thursday. It has received an average of 140,790 test results this past week.

Hospitalizations: According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, Florida was treating 5,187 patients with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 on Friday, including 1,042 Tampa Bay patients.

The state added 315 admissions Friday, 67 of them locally.

About 20 percent of regular hospital beds and around 17 percent of adult intensive care unit beds were open statewide. In Tampa Bay, about 19 percent of regular hospital beds and about 13 percent of adult ICU beds were available.

Positivity: Johns Hopkins University recorded Florida’s positivity rate at 9.41 percent Friday. The university’s metrics now more closely match those of the Florida Department of Health.

Averaging data from the state health department, Florida’s weekly average positivity rate was 8.68 percent Friday. Daily positivity rates ranged from 7.41 percent to 9.69 percent over the past two weeks.

States should maintain a positivity rate of 5 percent or less for at least two weeks before reopening, according to the World Health Organization. This positivity rate indicates that testing is widespread enough to capture mild and asymptomatic cases.

Local numbers: The Tampa Bay region added 2,585 cases and 23 deaths Friday.

Hillsborough and Polk counties added six deaths each, while Pinellas County added five deaths. Hernando County added four deaths. Manatee and Pasco counties added one death each. Citrus County removed five deaths from its count, meaning either those who died were not residents or their deaths were not coronavirus-related.

Citrus and Polk counties had weekly average positivity rates of 9.8 percent. Hernando County’s positivity rate was 9.7 percent, Pasco County’s positivity rate was 9.4 percent, Hillsborough County’s positivity rate was 9.1 percent, Manatee County’s positivity rate was 8.1 percent and Pinellas County’s positivity rate was 7.2 percent.

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According to the latest counts, Hillsborough has had 68,739 cases and 1,028 deaths, Pinellas has had 39,846 cases and 1,002 deaths, Polk has had 32,809 cases and 748 deaths, Manatee has had 19,879 cases and 406 deaths, Pasco has had 19,017 cases and 338 deaths, Hernando has had 6,374 cases and 255 deaths, and Citrus has had 5,877 cases and 219 deaths.

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